***500-word “One Word Prompt” Microfiction Series***

“Make love, not war,” said Professor Eisenstein as he walked across the stage.

Molly shook her head, “So cliché” she thought.

“And while we continue to feed the beast, the war propaganda shall remain,” Professor Eisenstein continued.

Molly glanced across to Dave, a PhD scholar that Molly worked with, as he sat with his attention glued to the stage. He was a sensitive young man, early 30’s, that had always been misunderstood as weak and needy.

“I now ask the audience for questions,” Professor Eisenstein continued.

A young woman from the front stood up abruptly. “Will this cycle ever stop? Do we have any say in this?”

“Good question,” replied Professor Eisenstein. “But I don’t know if you’re going to like the answer.”

The woman sat down slowly in anticipation.

“Believe it or not, this cycle can be stopped and you do have a say in this, but this doesn’t look like what you think.

A gasp of anticipation echoed throughout the audience.

“It’s not through government or lobbying, or debating on social media that’s going to drive this change…

…it’s through YOU, each and every one of YOU, to make a commitment to know the truth, to know YOUR truth, and to make this reality what you CHOOSE it to be.”

“But how?” asked Dave as raised his hand, Molly sank in her seat next to him.

“I know this sounds counter-intuitive, but the reason a lot of this propaganda is in place is because of our PERCEPTION,” said Professor Eisenstein as he paced across the stage. “Of ourselves, of the world…

…Those who control perception control the world, and if you give that control over to others, mainstream media, teachers, your family, your romantic partner, you cannot possibly delve into your own truth.”

“So you’re saying we shouldn’t listen to you right now,” snarked a male voice from the back.

“You have a choice to listen to me and make your own decision of what true and what’s a load of crap.”

The audience chuckled.

“But then we wouldn’t pass any exams if we disagreed!”

Professor Eisenstein smiled. “This is the paradox. This is what education has come to in many parts of the world, agree or be punished, which is why we are where we’re at today.”

“But wouldn’t the world get out of control?”

“Or perhaps more liberated?” shrugged Professor Eisenstein. “If all of you were to blindly agree with everything I said without question, I’d be more concerned. There is nothing wrong with healthy debate. It’s how we are meant to create balance and equilibrium, but instead, we have created this ‘us’ versus ‘them’ paradigm, which is why there is so much chaos in the world.”

Dave stuck his arm up, “How do we fix it?” Molly sitting upright in anticipation.

“Make your truth your priority, even if it scares you. But most importantly, make love a priority, because this is a lifeforce that transforms everything for the better.”